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Dispelling Two Potential Reasons For The Never-Ending String Of Injuries

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights take the ice tonight, they’ll be without Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson, Alex Tuch, Nolan Patrick, and Zach Whitecloud (and potentially Mattias Janmark). That’s a little more than $29 million worth of salary on the shelf or about 36% of the salary cap.

Amazingly, until Karlsson misses a game, the Golden Knights are not the team suffering from the most salary cap money lost to injury. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been without Sidney Crosby, Evgenii Malkin, Marcus Pettersson, Brian Rust, Kris Letang, and Tristan Jarry for an insane $36 million missing due to injury.

Nonetheless, with Crosby returning to action and Jarry and Pettersson expected to return from the COVID-19 list soon, the Golden Knights will take the injury crown by the end of the week.

The elephant in the room continues to be a lingering question about why the Golden Knights are seeing so many injuries.

One theory is Pete DeBoer’s “non-negotiable” commitment to blocking shots. The Golden Knights currently lead the league in blocked shots per 60 minutes with 18.1, nearly two shots better than every other team besides the New York Islanders. Vegas has blocked 147 shots in eight games, just two blocks behind the Red Wings who have played nine games and the Ducks who have played 10.

Injuries to Alec Martinez, Max Pacioretty, William Carrier, and Zach Whitecloud have all been sustained due to blocked shots. However, William Karlsson has experienced a similar injury as Pacioretty, and his was taken on a shot from his own teammate in the offensive zone.

History tells us there’s little correlation between total number of team blocked shots and injuries.

Last season the Golden Knights led the league blocking 843 shots. They finished in 23rd place in the league in Cap Hit of Injured Players (CHIP) according to NHL Injury Viz. In years prior, 15th, 21st, and 21st in blocked shots. Those seasons saw the Golden Knights rank 20th, 11th, and 11th in CHIP.

The team that led the league in blocks each season between 2017-18 and 2019-20 finished 14th (SJS), 20th (OTT), and 17th (NYI) in salary cap lost.

Another theory is age. The older the team, the more banged up they get over the course of a season.

The Golden Knights entered 2021-22 as the 22nd oldest team in the league. Pittsburgh is 6th.

Last year’s most injured team, Dallas, was the league’s 5th oldest team. The next team losing the most salary due to injuries was Chicago, who were the 26th oldest team.

Prior years continue to show little to no correlation between salary cap lost to injury and age of players.

Even just looking at the age of the Golden Knights currently out dispels that idea. Stone, Karlsson, Whitecloud, Tuch, and Patrick are all under the age of 29.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, there just isn’t a good explanation. In this instance, that seems to be the case. In the end, the best guess as to why this is happening is the one with the worst explanation, luck or coincidence.

VGK just need that luck to turn around, and soon.

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27 Comments

  1. Daryl

    Maybe they don’t know how to properly block shots? Just kidding, maybe. I don’t really relate injuries to old age to blocked shots to salary. Engo led the team in blocked shots and he was old and very seldom was injured.

    As much as I despise PDB I also don’t blame him for these types of injuries. It’s the players job to block shots, every player, not just your grunts or your defensemen.

  2. “As much as I despise PDB”

    I find that quite remarkable or not.

    • Daryl

      And why is that? That I don’t like PDB? That I haven’t liked him since long before he was a SJS coach. Why I habemt thought he was a good coach since his time at NJD? Or the fact that he hasn’t proven me wrong since those day at NJD?

      • Pistol Pete

        Despising him thought it was more personal than just not living up to your expectations of his ability to win. Perhaps part of that is how you perceive he treats his players? Seems personable….and smart.

        • Pistol Pete

          Whatever Daryl ok if this conversation
          ends here. No point to it. My stupid fault for initiating it. I tend to get defensive when PFB is attacked. I know better.

        • Daryl

          You are right… Despise was cometely the wrong word. I have nothing against him personally? I’ve never heard he treats his players badly or anything like that

  3. Tim

    Krebs took a puck last year now Martinez and Karlsson I guess it happens but were running out of players. Like I said in my other post how can they trade for Eichel and have him on IR and lose two or three starters in the trade. We’ll be calling guys up from the Indiana Comets. I would like to think we’ve pulled out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. Buffalo is going to be stuck with him unless Calgary or Anaheim pony up. I’m loving it that cocky GM in Buffalo thinks he’s sitting on a gold mine but in reality it’s fools gold.

    • Pistol Pete

      Eichel will be fine with the disc replacement. Will be like nothing happened. He’s one of top elite centers. He would be huge for the VGK. Still not clear if the price is too high. I doubt they’ll destroy the roster to get a deal. Either it can be done or it can’t.

      • Tim

        Pistal Pete I’m not disputing he’s good but tell me how we lose three more starters and put him on IR. Where’s the logic in that?

        • Pistol Pete

          Tim I really don’t think they’ll do a deal unless it works. That means not shipping out more pieces than they can afford. We remain in the wait and see mode. It’s definitely going to be tough to make it work but it could happen IMO.

    • Vlad

      The shot off kerbs face has been the best shot he’s had out of the very few

      • Tim

        Vlad, I usually don’t answer stupid posters but this time is an exception. Your one sick mother fuckers to wish harm on anyone crawl back in your hole the world would be better off.

        • Vlad

          Re read my post. I was saying it was his best shot!

          Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Disgraceful

        • Bandit

          Eichel may be a great player but to risk losing top players for him is not right. What if he doesn’t play here like he plays there I mean I’ve seen top players get traded and they don’t play well with the team they’ve been traded to. They’ve already messed up the VGKS just leave well enough alone! I know we have injuries but when they all return we’ll be alright. It’s still early in the season. If the VGKS need to get rid of anyone it’s DeBoer!!

  4. Bad Vlad

    Vegas is in a corner. They have to do something. Every team will be all over stone and pac like white on rice when they are back. They will be shut down

  5. JV

    To sum up expected VGK forward lines for tonight

    2nd line wing- 4th line center- 2nd line wing
    4th line wing- 3rd line center- AHL wing
    3rd line wing- 4th line center- 4th line wing
    AHL wing-AHL center-AHL wing
    * without Patches and Stone

    Maybe put Dadonov with Marchy and Smith? Marchy has played Center in the past.

    Not a criticism, just perspective at this point.

    OUCH!!!! Give ’em hell. boys!!!

  6. Vlad

    Good thing Vegas, the 3 legged stool, is playing another team that’s the same as them in TO. Reliant on a few players and rest struggle to stay afloat

  7. Vlad

    Leafs 1 Vegas 0

    Who was on ice for Vegas in leafs goal??

    Yup. Pylon Krebs. I know. Shocking

    • Mike StG

      Vlad, plus/minus doesn’t reflect solely on 1 player. Not seen the game yet, but considering who scored both goals it’s more likely a result of defense breakdowns,

      Whatever the case, your Peyton schtick is getting pretty monotonous and boring. Why don’t you pick on someone your own size, like McNabb?

  8. knights fan in minny

    ignore vlad the sad he likes to get under peoples skin imature pecker head

  9. Vegas Voice of Reason

    Enough with the Krebs bashing he’s not the main problem… maybe we’re spending too much time blocking shots because of an inferior goaltender.. Put Brossiot in more often and see how things change. The few games he’s played looked way better than Lehner. Sorry, Lehner just isn’t it. My opinion to which I am entitled.

    • Vlad

      When Krebs who has ZERO goals and a team leader in minuses is getting more ice than Reilly Smith and a few others it’s no wonder Vegas is losing.

  10. phantom major

    the disastrous PP….Theodore and those 2 baldheaded clowns from SJ behind the bench are a total disgrace on the PP problems.

    period.

    • Vlad

      Well no doubt that pp sucks and has for awhile. But the problems are waaay deeper than that

      Amazing how little talent Vegas has for call ups to choose from

      Trade for those 7 call ups the sharks had the other night when they beat winnipeg

  11. Bad Vlad

    Krebs only a team leading -2 tonight… again… can’t believe they keep losing.

    Those pics of someone with that sheep are paying dividends

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